Circular Reasoning In The Salem Witch Trials By Arthur Miller

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Circular Reasoning
Before the miracle of modern medicine, the child mortality rate was unfortunately high. Mrs. Ann Putnam, the mother of Ruth and wife of Thomas Putnam, lost seven children before they even reached a day old. When Rebecca Nurse, a well-respected elder in Salem, learns that Mrs. Putnam sent her own child to the slave who is accused of causing the comatose states of Ruth Putnam and Betty Parris, she is appalled. Mrs. Putnam spits back, “Let God blame me, not you, not you, Rebecca! I’ll not have you judging me any more! To Hale: Is it a natural work to lose seven children before they live a day?” (Miller 36) It goes without saying that the emotional agony a mother goes through when she outlives a child isn’t easy. To further explain
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Sadly, Salem is not a huge town. Everybody knows everybody, their history, and their business. However, the size of the town means that they get to see everybody daily. For some, that’s a great joy to have, but for others, like Mrs. Putnam, it can remind a person of a time (or multiple times, in this case) that they most definitely do not want to remember. With these factors being constant, Mrs. Putnam is continually reminded of her unlikely theory. She could only take so many looks at Mrs. Nurse before she had to learn the truth, hence her sending Ruth to Tituba, the accused slave. In the scene, it reveals the fact that Mrs. Putnam has never been able to let go of her suspicions. Also, it confirms that Tituba has a known abnormality. However, in the overall scope of the play, it adds on to the fact that everyone in the town is judged by one another, in and out of the courtroom, thus raising the tensions. With all the accusations and unsettled disputes floating around Salem, the town creates an “every man for himself’ environment where watching yourself and your loved ones is crucial to …show more content…
It’s always easier to blame someone else. Eight days after Reverend Hale comes to town, Francis Nurse and Giles Cory tell the Proctors that their wives are accused of practicing witchcraft. Giles explains his wife’s story.
That bloody mongrel Walcott charge her. Y’see, he buy a pig of my wife four or five year ago, and the pig died soon after. So he come dancin’ in for his money back. So my Martha, she says to him, ‘Walcott, if you haven’t the wit to feed a pig properly, you’ll not live to own many,’ she says. Now he goes to court and claims that from that day to this he cannot keep a pig alive for more than four weeks because my Martha bewitch them with her books! (Miller

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